No one will argue that the key to economic revival is jobs. Politicians on both sides of the aisle, and at all levels of government have been preaching job creation, expansion and retention since the U.S. economy declined last decade.
However, we still were glad to hear Gov. Rick Snyder focus on jobs as a priority for 2012 during his State of the State address on Wednesday. With Michigan's unemployment at its lowest since September 2008, the signs are present that show the economy is improving. However, at a 9.3 percent jobless rate, there is still work to be done.
To that end, we were even more encouraged when the governor cited Alpena's Hal Neiman as an example of a Michigan success story. Neiman, owner of Neiman's Family Market, has three stores in Michigan and said he anticipates opening a fourth store during this year. According to Neiman it would employ 100-plus employees. If that is average, Neiman's Family Markets would employee over 400 people. A success story indeed.
Hal Neiman isn't the only success story in Alpena and Northeast Michigan. The area is filled with strong entrepreneurs whose successes are our communities' successes, making our area stronger.
Northeast Michigan needs jobs, just as the rest of the state needs jobs. Hopefully the governor's focus on that will help provide more employment, and more employers like Hal Neiman.